“Saab is dead” – The headlines
January 22, 2012 in Editorial
Having reviewed this mornings editorial contributions by the many writers in the press, the headline everywhere is “Saab is dead”, which actually, right now, is true. Saab still costs money even though it has died. Anyone who ever said that a bankruptcy was the way to go has now been proven wrong! It was never a solution, Victor Muller knew this all too well, which is why he, together with his management team struggled so hard to save the company until there was nothing more to do.
What ever assets there are in Saab has been pawned which basically means that it has a fixed price on it and the companies which have pawned these were not stupid when they agreed to it, of course they saw that they could make use of these assets if Saab would become bankrupt or even make profit out of these if Saab were to survive. Thinking ahead and gambling is the language of business.
My opinion of the work of the administrators have always been fairly neutral, they are highly educated people, but there were things they could have done better and there are things that they have done very well and having watched the video interviews with them yesterday it is clear that these people have absolutely no training what so ever in being interviewed in front of a camera. They gave a fairly nervous impression but yet they knew exactly what to NOT say. They never said that this is over even though a lot of the newspapers would have liked to hear that (again).
The administrators did exactly what they were supposed to do yesterday, they told the truth! Saab is dead and its continuing to bleed and they have the job of finding someone who can take care of the body and then try to revive it in some way, shape or form. Can this be done?, absolutely, can it be done successfully? absolutely! and the administrators know this!
We might not like the things they have to sacrifice, like the museum for example, but the cars in there will again serve a greater good, helping to create a potential future for Saab.
The fact that Saab has not even had money to buy toilet-paper since march is a fact that not a lot of people knew about. We’ve heard horror story after horror story from Saab employees and suppliers describing how a company has to act when it is completely out of money and saving up on absolutely everything! But despite having to clean the offices, toilets, kitchens and even buy supplies themselves for their own money the employees stayed at their post! They did not leave which is the biggest evidence of how great Saab actually was.
And its these people can again, with their extreme loyalty, expertise, mentality and most of all morale make Saab rise up again!
But the employee-situation is another factor where the administrators are proving that they know exactly what they are doing, they understand the employees, they understand the process the employees are going through, that a lot of people are finding new jobs and are leaving, especially the engineers, but they also know that a lot of them are holding out to see what will become of Saab, at least for a few more weeks! And this is the time frame that the administrators have to find the right buyer who can actually make Saab happen again! And it gives time for the buyer to make final preparations to act quickly but also more important, correctly! This is why they said yesterday that: “- We are in a hurry. But we are not in such a hurry that we can’t evaluate the options we have, and that we believe to have”.
I would urge people to not jump to any conclusions regarding anything for a while now, stay where you are, watch how this thing unfolds and deeply consider what is going on, analyze it from all aspects, not just your own point of view, discuss your opinions here on SU but do not let it go farther than that. There have been many people urging us to create campaigns, posting e-mail addresses etc to influence the administrators, NO, we are absolutely not going to waste their time in any way, because time is THE most important factor for Saab right now. We have one chance people, one chance… and this must work! The administrators know what they are doing, they proved that yesterday!
And what ever solution they come up with, I am confident that it is the best possible solution under the current circumstances!
We as a community have done our part, we proved to the world that we are still here, we have shown potential buyers that Saab is a lot more than engineers and a factory, it is a way of life! Now its time to let the administrators do their job!